Fort Laramie Fight

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The following story is from the book, Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, by Gregory F. Michno.

15 June, 1853: During a gathering of Lakotas and Cheyennes near Fort Laramie to receive their annual treaty goods, an argument occurred in which a Minneconjou fired a shot at a soldier operating a ferry on the Platte River. Lt. Richard B. Garnett, in command at the fort, sent out 23 men of the 6th Infantry under Lt. Hugh Fleming to arrest the offender.

In spite of the approximately 600 Lakota and Cheyenne lodges with over 1,000 warriors nearby, Fleming boldly demanded his prisoner in the Minneconjou camp of 40 lodges. The discussion grew heated and the soldiers fired, killing three Indians, wounding three others, and taking two prisoner. Fleming was extremely lucky to retreat with no losses. Only great exertion on the part of the chiefs prevented a massive retaliation, as they correctly proclaimed that the soldiers had been "the first to make the ground bloody."


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